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September 30, 2005


The Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announces an administrative restructuring of Monsignor Bonner High School for Boys and Archbishop Prendergast High School for Girls. The two schools are located next to each other on the same property in Drexel Hill, Delaware County.

In order to continue the tradition of single-sex education and to enhance the delivery of educational services effectively and efficiently, Archbishop Prendergast High School and Monsignor Bonner High School will become a co-institutional high school effective July 1, 2006. The excellent faith-formation that was provided by each school will be strengthened and enriched as the schools go forward to form and inform students in the Catholic faith. This new administrative model which will include one president, one principal, three assistant principals and 2 coordinators for academic affairs and student services, will enable single sex education to be maintained in both buildings for the core curriculum while allowing all students to participate fully in a full compliment of AP subjects and a variety of elective course from both schools.

In October 2005, a Steering Committee will be formed to review and coordinate the planning for the new administrative model. There will be committees to address Catholic identity and mission, academics, technology, recruitment, student services and student affairs, as well as finances and facilities issues.

Sharing the same campus, the schools have collaborated for years while maintaining their unique identities. There have been co-educational classes conducted in certain electives and advanced placement classes for years. As the enrollment decreases, costs increase. In 1963, Monsignor Bonner housed 3,173 students while Archbishop Prendergast housed 3,733 students. The combined enrollment at both schools is now 1,754. In order to effectively and efficiently deliver educational services to a new generation of students, a new model of administration is needed.

In 1952, to meet an increased need for high schools in the growing suburbs, Cardinal O'Hara established Archbishop Prendergast High School for Boys in the building which formerly housed Saint Vincent's orphanage. Three years later, a new school building was built on the same campus and named Monsignor Bonner High School for Boys. Archbishop Prendergast was then designated as a school for girls.

Donna Farrell

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